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With winter fast approaching, making sure you are prepared to handle storms should be a top priority.

How to prepare for winter storms

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With winter fast approaching, making sure you are prepared to handle storms should be a top priority. Follow this checklist to ensure you are ready to take whatever mother nature sends your way.

Create an emergency kit 
It is always a good idea to have an emergency stash of essential items, especially if you live in a region where inclement weather is typical. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends including at least a few gallons of water, a first aid kit, a whistle, a flashlight, a radio and canned food in your kit. To be even more prepared, FEMA suggests also putting away extra cash, sleeping bags, important documents and games to pass the time in case of power loss.

Prepare your vehicle 
According to the Red Cross, you should try to keep your gas tank as full as possible during the colder months. This will prevent the  fuel line from freezing. FEMA notes that you should check antifreeze levels, the heater and defroster, the thermostat and the windshield wipers to make sure they are all operating without any problems . Good winter tires are essential for driving during heavy storms and on icy roads, but use discretion and stay home if conditions look too dangerous.

Prepare your home 
During the fall, have your home heating system inspected to make sure it is working properly. Additionally, it is a good idea to clean and prepare space heaters and chimneys. While you wait for the storm to hit, close all windows. The Red Cross suggests covering them with plastic to keep cold air out and prevent warm air from escaping. If you are going to be away when a bad storm is headed for your home, set the heat to at least 55 degrees and leave it running while you are gone, the source recommends.


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